A companion to the upcoming book of similar title, this blog gives recipes to make your own homemade and healthy Meals Ready to Eat. Whether you prepare these for survival in emergency situations or to provide healthy meals for work and camping/backpacking, or if you just need portion control for your diet, there are recipes here for nearly everyone! // ALL ingredients are dehydrated or freeze-dried, or shelf-stable, and all recipes are for one serving. // At least ONE new recipe will be added each week.

MRE RECIPE: Praline Sweet Potatoes

While this is the perfect recipe for an INSTANT THANKSGIVING, it is also good as a delicious dessert.

1/2 cup mashed or diced dehydrated sweet potatoes
2 tbsp pecans
1 tbsp coconut flakes
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp tapioca flour or starch
1 tbsp butter powder
tiny pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients and seal. To prepare to eat: Sweet potatoes/yams take a long long time to rehydrate! I suggest that you dump the ingredients into a pot with 3/4  to 1 cup of boiling water, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, possibly 15-20 minutes.

Add more brown sugar, butter powder and pecans for a super-yummy dessert.  You could even bake this is a small pie shell.

  • Delicious side dish for any instant holiday meal.
  • Gluten-Free: naturally

Dehydrating Thoughts

My 9 tray dehydrator is full! Since I am making these meals to sell as a fundraiser next weekend (my son has epilepsy), I needed to get busy!


Making: turkey with bread stuffing or rice stuffing, sweet potatoes with oranges and walnuts or pineapple and marshmallows, green bean casserole, Kickin' Mac and Cheese (recipe will be in book), and pumpkin pie pudding.

In the dehydrator now: bread for the stuffing, elbow pasta for the mac and cheese, pumpkin, pineapple. Making three kinds of cranberry preserves to can to sell.

Note: IF you can NOT find the ingredient you need to make yummy recipes, find a way to dehydrate it yourself!

Jars to Store Meals

Many people have asked how I store my meals when we aren't going to eat them right away.  Here is a picture of a few meals in jars I made this week for Hubby to take to work.  (Recipes still being tested and worked on.)

This week, I used 1/2 pint (8 oz) jars.

Simple label for home-use. More fancy label when selling.

I also use bags that can be sealed with my Seal-a-Meal. More on that another time.

Storing Meals in Bags

There are a lot of different kinds of bags you can seal your meal in IF you plan to not eat it any time soon.
  • Seal-a-Meal or other vacuum-sealing machine and bags
  • Mylar
  • Mylar on one side with food-grade plastic on the other
  • Metallic Foil with Ziplock
This is the small bag that I like. Clear on one side, foil on the other. Can either print a big label for the back, or print a piece of paper to staple over the top. It holds breakfast oatmeal, sides, drinks, etc. (There are larger sizes for entrees). It can be sealed with my Seal-a-Meal.

Here is the description for this bag on Amazon ( 100 PCS Silver/clear Metallic Foil Stand up Ziplock Bag 10cm x 15cm 3.94'' x 5.91'' by QQ Studio Group ).

MRE RECIPE: Cucumber Mango Salsa

Several people have asked me for recipes that avoid the nightshade family: tomato, eggplant, potato. Here is one!

1/2 cup cucumber dices
1/2 cup mango dices
2 tbsp green onion/scallion dices
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp lime powder
1 tsp raw sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar powder
1/2 tsp horseradish (or hot radish) powder
s & p to taste

Combine and seal. When ready to eat, add boiling water, stir and cover until rehydrated. You want a very thick chunky salsa. Adjust seasonings. Serve with chips or veggies.

  • I let my radishes grow big and super-hot, slice thin and dehydrate until crispy. Then I powder. Easy peasy "horseradish" powder!
  • Nightshade-Free: no potato, tomato or eggplant
  • Gluten-Free: naturally
  • Dairy-Free: naturally
  • Vegan: naturally
  • Low-Sugar: there is a little bit of sugar in this. If you desire no-sugar, eliminate it and add a tiny bit of stevia to offset the sourness of the vinegar.

MRE RECIPE: Thai Pineapple Rice - Vegan

This is a delicious dish.  Top it with cashews for a bit of protein.

1/4 cup rice
2 tbsp cauliflower
2 tbsp pineapple dices/bits
2 tbsp coconut milk powder
1 tbsp broccoli
1 tbsp carrot dices
1 tbsp bell pepper
1 tbsp tomato bits
1 tbsp scallions/green onions
1 vegan bouillon cube / 2 tsp vegan broth powder
pinch curry powder
pinch ginger powder
s & p to taste

Combine and seal. Rehydrate with boiling water until thick. Adjust seasonings to taste. Top with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cashews.

  • I like to dehydrate my own pineapple tidbits (yes, from a can).
  • Gluten-free: naturally but check your bouillon.
  • Dairy-free: naturally
  • Low-sugar: some sugar is in the pineapple but you can reduce the pineapple if necessary.
  • To bump up the protein, add some cooked then dehydrated lentils.

MRE RECIPE: Thai Squash Curry - Vegan

I was asked to have some vegan meals in my book, so I came up with this delicious curry recipe. This recipe has LOTS of ingredients, but it's worth it!  Protein sources, besides the veggies, are beans and seeds. Give it a try!

1/4 cup diced cooked dehydrated winter squash (pumpkin, acorn, butternut, etc)
1/4 cup diced dried sweet potatoes
1/4 cup cooked dehydrated garbanzo beans/chickpeas
2 tbsp coconut milk powder
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, shelled, dried
1 tbsp carrot dices
1 tbsp bell pepper strips or dices
a few halved cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp red onion dices
1 tbsp orange powder
1 tbsp lime powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 vegan bouillon cube or 2 tsp dehydrated homemade vegan broth
pinch red chili flakes or other hot pepper
pinch turmeric
pinch apple cider vinegar powder
pinch ground coriander seeds
pinch ground cumin
tiny pinch fennel seed
s & p to taste

Combine all and seal. When ready to eat, reconstitute with boiling water until thick and hot. Serve over jasmine rice, and sprinkle fresh nasturtium petals on top. Yummmy!  Adjust spices to fit your taste buds.

  • Very healthy dish. The beans and seeds give a great amount of protein, and the veggies and spices provide lots of nutrition.
  • Gluten-free: naturally
  • Dairy-free: naturally
  • Low-sugar: naturally (the 1/2 tsp of brown sugar isn't much)

MRE RECIPE: Spicy Lime Cilantro Chicken

Although I really don't like cilantro, I have prepared this dish for people who do, and they like it! Make it as spicy as you prefer.

1/2 cup chicken in small pieces
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp lime powder
1 tsp hot pepper dices (jalapeno, habanero, etc)
1/2 tsp butter powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
s & p to taste

Combine and seal. When ready to prepare, add 3/4 cups of boiling water. More if necessary, to get it into a thick consistency (not soupy). Serve with tortillas or chips.

  • Although I have found freeze-dried jalapeno bits, I haven't found store-bought freeze-dried or dehydrated habanero or other hot peppers. I suggest you do them yourself, if you like super-hot chilies! Slice thin, spread on a sheet in a single layer, and dehydrate. Suggestion: dehydrate in your garage or outside because the oils and heat will spice up your air!
  • Lime powder is available online but you can make your own lime (and lemon) powder and zest. Zest a clean organic citrus fruit and dehydrate the strips (store as strips). For powder, thinly slice the whole clean organic citrus fruit and dehydrate the slices (store as slices for teas, etc or powder for recipes).
  • Gluten-free: recipe is gluten-free. Serve on gf tortillas/wraps (corn, amaranth, etc) or chips. I like blue corn non-gmo chips from the health food store.
  • Low-sugar: none in this recipe! 
  • Low-carb: naturally, but bump up the meat if you need more protein.

MRE RECIPE: Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is one of my all-time favorite dishes.  My hubby liked it too but hadn't had it since he became lactose intolerant. Now that I wrote this recipe, and substituted powdered goat milk or powdered plain rice milk, he is back on the beef stroganoff wagon!

1/2 cup tiny or dehydrated pasta (egg noodles make it yummy!)
¼ cup hamburger rocks or roast beef chunks
¼ cup mushroom slices
1tbsp sour cream or rice milk powder
1 beef bouillon cube
¼ tsp onion powder
1 tsp potato flakes or arrowroot powder (to thicken it)
s & p to taste

Combine and seal. When ready to eat, add 1 cup of boiling water, stir and cover. Let sit until beef and pasta are reconstituted, about 20-30 minutes.

  • Gluten-free: use your pre-cooked and dehydrated gluten-free pasta
  • Dairy-free: substitute rice milk powder instead of sour cream powder
  • Nightshade-Free: If you use arrowroot powder or corn starch (instead of potato flakes) to thicken the dish, this will be nightshade-free.
  • Low-Sugar: naturally

MRE RECIPE: Asian Chicken Cashew

This is one of my favorite recipes. Cashews make almost everything taste better!  Give this a try.

1/4 cup chicken chunks or bits
1/2 cup instant rice
1 tbsp garlic powder or flakes
1 tbsp green onions / scallions
1 tbsp cashew pieces (toasted or raw)
1 tbsp bell pepper dices
1 tbsp carrot bits
1 tbsp water chestnuts
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp brown sugar
1 beef bouillon cube
pinch red pepper flakes

Combine and seal. Reconstitute with 1 1/2 cups (or more) of boiling water. Should be delightfully thick!

  • Nightshade-Free: If you can't handle nightshades, eliminate the bell and hot peppers.
  • Dairy-Free: naturally
  • Gluten-Free: naturally but make sure the rice is gluten-free
  • Low-Carb: naturally, except for brown sugar. Leave it out if you need to.
  • Low-Sugar: naturally, except for the brown sugar that you can leave out if you'd like.
  • Dehydrates the water chestnuts yourself (make sure sliced thin).
  • Instead of using a bouillon cube, make your own beef stock, simmer until reduced and thick, then spread out thin and dehydrate.
  • If planning to store this for a long time, leave out the cashews and seeds. Add them in when preparing to eat.

MRE RECIPE: Asian Beef with Snow Peas

I couldn't find any dehydrated or freeze-dried snow peas so I bought some and dehydrated them myself. They reconstitute quiet well in boiling water. Note: this can also be made with chicken or turkey.

1/4 cup instant white or brown rice
1/2 cup beef chunks or rocks/crumbles
1/4 cup snow peas
1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Combine and seal. To eat, rehydrate with 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Stir and cover. Great to cook in a saucepan over a fire (or stove burner!) until reconstituted.

  • Gluten-free: If you have any doubts about instant rice, make your own! Cook your favorite rice until done, then spread on a thin layer on your dehydrator's fruit roll-up sheet, then dehydrate until all moisture is gone.  Same with bouillon: if you have any doubts about it, make your own by simmering homemade broth until quite thick, spread on the roll-up sheet and dehydrate until crispy enough to powder.
  • Dairy-free: no dairy in here!
  • Low-sugar: 1/2 tsp of sugar isn't too bad, and it adds to the taste.

MRE RECIPE: Brazilian Black Bean Stew

Here is a recipe from Brazil! Serve over rice, noodles, quinoa, or just eat it by itself!

1/2 cup cooked mashed dehydrated black beans
1/4 cup sausage crumbles
1 tbsp bacon pieces (the real kind - Hormel)
1 tbsp onion dices
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
s & p to taste

Separate baggie: 1 tsp scallions/green onion, 1 tsp cilantro (I leave it out for mine!) and 1 tsp parsley.

Combine all - you should have two baggies. When ready to eat, add 1 1/2 cups boiling water to stew part, stir, cover, and let sit until reconstituted Add more or less water to get stew consistency. At the last minute before eating, add in the second baggie with the scallions.

  • Dairy-Free: naturally
  • Gluten-Free: naturally
  • Low-Sugar: naturally

MRE RECIPE: Creamy Broccoli Chicken and Rice

Hubby LOVES this dish, especially when I make it dairy-free with rice or goat milk powder. Feel free to add more veggies, if you'd like.

1/4 cup white or brown rice
1/4 cup dehydrated broccoli
1/4 cup dehydrated chunk chicken
2-3 tbsp goat or rice milk powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder
s & p to taste

Combine and seal. To prepare for eating, reconstitute with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Stir, cover, and let sit for 15-20 minutes, until everything is moist and tender.

  • Dairy-Free: naturally, unless you use powdered cow milk.
  • Gluten-Free: naturally
  • Low-Sugar: Naturally
  • Low-Carb: Instead of using rice, you could substitute zoodles (strips of zucchini, dehydrated, used like noodles).
  • Nightshade-Free: No potato, tomato or eggplant.

MRE RECIPE: Raspberry Peach Yum

Don't you just love what I named this?  Okay, so raspberries and peaches taste beautifully together, and I like sending a dessert with Hubby to work.  So... I came up with this. Super-healthy and a nice way to end a lunch in the midst of a busy day.

1/2 cup peach dices
1/4 cup raspberry powder
1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot (thickener)
3 tsp raw sugar
pinch nutmeg

In separate baggie, 1/2 cup crumbled sugar cookies.

Combine fruit, thickener, sugar and spice in one baggie and seal. Place crumbled cookies in a second baggie and seal. To enjoy, rehydrate the fruit, sugar and spices with very hot water for 10 minutes, and when ready, top with crumbled sugar cookies.

-Gluten-Free: There are a lot of pre-made gluten-free cookies on the market. Choose a sugar-cookie and go to town!
-Dairy-Free: No dairy in here! One could make this creamy by adding a little rice milk powder to the fruit.
-Low-Sugar: Substitute stevia instead of sugar for a low-sugar version. Remember that stevia is VERY sweet so reduce the amount by at least half.

MRE RECIPE: Tomato Soup

One of my son's favorite soups (besides chicken noodle!) is Campbell's Tomato Soup. I devised this recipe and I think I'm pretty close. Thoughts?

4 tbsp tomato powder
1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 tbsp homemade chicken bouillon powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp butter powder

Mix and seal. When ready to eat, add 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups boiling water. More if thinner soup is preferred.

This is a single serving as a side dish/soup. To make a full meal out of this, please double the recipe.

  • Some people prefer a creamy tomato soup. Add 2 tbsp of your favorite milk powder (goat, rice, cow, etc)
  • Gluten-free: the best way to make sure the bouillon cube doesn't have wheat, gluten or too much sodium in it is to make your own! Take chicken (or beef) broth and simmer until reduced to very thick. Spread on a fruit roll up sheet and dehydrate until crispy enough to powder.


We thought about how to bump up our protein in our homemade instant oatmeal, and hit upon this recipe!  Hubby LOVES strawberry jam, so we used powdered strawberries and raw sugar to get the taste.  I personally love raspberry or apricot .... use the fruit that you most love in jam form.

1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp peanut butter powder
1 tbsp strawberry powder
1 tbsp raw sugar

Combine. When ready to eat, add 1 cup of very hot water. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

-Gluten-Free if you use certified gluten-free oats.
-I buy fruit powders at www.justtomatoes.com

MRE RECIPE: Banana Bread Oatmeal

I love love love banana bread, so I came up with recipe that tastes similar.

1/2 cup quick cooking oats
3 tsp banana powder OR 1/4 cup dehydrated banana slices
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tsp raw sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Rehydrate with 1 cup very hot or boiling water, stir, let sit with lid on for 10 min, remove lid, stir, and enjoy! If using banana slices, they might need more time. Ok... Let me know! We loved this!

I buy fruit powders from www.justtomatoes.com ... LOTS to choose from!

Gluten-Free: be sure to use certified gluten-free oats!

MRE RECIPE: Breakfast Oatmeal

This is the basic recipe for your homemade healthy instant breakfast oatmeal.

1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder

1/4 cup dehydrated fruit (I used blueberries here)
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Combine and seal.  When ready to eat, add 1 cup boiling water for soupy oatmeal and less for thicker oatmeal. Add sugar if desired (I use raw sugar whenever possible but you can add stevia for a low-sugar breakfast). Steep for about 10 minutes.

Works with old fashioned oats too but takes about 10-15 minutes longer. Yummy! // Works with almost all dehydrated fruit, pumpkin powder, etc. Alter spices to match add-in. Add powdered milk if you like it creamy.

MRE RECIPE: Italian Hamburger Goulash

This is a quick meal to throw together for work's lunch. It is filling and healthy!

1/2 cup ground beef crumbles
1/4 cup tiny pasta, like orzo
1 tbsp tomato powder
1 tbsp sweet bell pepper strips or bits
1 tsp onion bits
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
S/P to taste

Combine all into a jar or bowl with lid. When ready to eat, add boiling water, approximately 1 cup.  Shake, cover, and let sit for 15 or more minutes. Add more water for a soupy texture, and less for a thick casserole texture.

  • Variation: Add other vegetables like zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, etc.
  • Gluten-Free: Cook gluten-free pasta to almost done, then spread in a single layer on your dehydrator sheet, and dehydrate until quite crispy. Once dry and cooled, store in a jar with a tightly-fitting lid. Use in recipes like this.
  • Low-Carb: Instead of pasta, use dehydrated zucchini strips / noodles (zoodles).

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Please note: all recipes on this blog and for the book are single serve, and use dehydrated or freeze-dried ingredients, as well as store-bought (or made-at-home-then-dehydrated) pasta, rice, potato flakes, etc. I don't like using soy, but a beef bouillon cube tastes similar.